Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our May issue).
That Loving Feeling
In recent years, Americans have developed warmer feelings toward every religious group—except evangelicals. Even more striking: Only 61 percent of all Americans (and 55 percent of non-evangelicals) personally know someone who is evangelical, down 9 percentage points from 2014. It was the biggest decline of any group. Jews warmed to evangelicals the most, while black Protestants cooled the most.
Some churches in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) aren’t happy with recent decisions by denominational leaders and are showing their displeasure by closing their wallets. After Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) president Russell Moore’s repeated public criticisms of Donald Trump and his evangelical supporters, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas—led by Trump adviser and former SBC president Jack Graham—decided to escrow money marked for denominational programs. The church gave $500,000 to the Cooperative Program in 2015; the program’s annual budget is about $190 million. Another megachurch in Tennessee is holding back funds over the decision by both the ERLC and the International Mission Board (IMB) to support a Muslim community’s right to build a mosque in New Jersey. The IMB apologized and changed its policy to “speak only into situations that are directly tied to our mission.” The SBC executive committee formed a task force to “study and recommend redemptive solutions” by September.
More than 30 Protestant missionaries from South Korea have been expelled from northeastern China, where some had been working for more than a decade. Along with evangelizing, …